In the presence of Catherine Trautmann, Chairman of PAS, Jean-Louis Jérôme, Executive Director of PAS, and Hervé Martel, Vice-president of HAROPA & Executive Director of HAROPA-Port of Le Havre, have signed a partnership agreement aiming at enhancing their cooperation.

4 major lines of development

The issues of this joint cooperation turn on 4 lines:


The PAS and HAROPA wish to make a scheduled and high-performance rail service emerge, connecting their business areas in day A – Day B. This service is a business issue enabling Strasbourg to diversify the seaports served from its area and thus facilitate cargo export by Rhine companies. To cope with the growing congestion of the ports in the ARA zone generated by mega-containerships, an alternative solution via HAROPA will allow for gaining competitiveness in terms of transit times and transport costs.

For HAROPA, the cooperation between seaports and inland ports is founding. Let’s remind that HAROPA is already both the French largest container seaport and the French leading inland port. HAROPA serves a vast hinterland the centre of which is situated in the Seine valley and the Paris region forming the French largest consumer market. This new cooperation makes it possible to extend its European hinterland towards the East via Strasbourg.

Port cooperation

The partners have the common ambition to improve the performance of the trans-European transport network, especially concerning the following corridors: Atlantic, North Sea-Mediterranean, Rhine-Alps and Rhine-Danube. Interport cooperation also aims at sharing good practices and experiences as regards port alliances.

Strasbourg like HAROPA indeed knew to ally with geographic partners. Created in 2012, the HAROPA EIG (Economic Interest Group), grouping together the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, bears joint economic interests with the objective to form a European-sized port system in the field of industry, logistics and tourism at the service of their customers in an extremely competitive North-European field.

Since 2012, the port of Strasbourg has allied with 8 other ports in the Upper Rhine in Switzerland, Germany and France: Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Kehl, Colmar/Neuf-Brisach, Basle, Mulhouse et Weil-am-Rhein, within the framework of the common project “Upper Rhine, a connected corridor”, an exemplary cooperation recommended by the transport policy of the European Commission.


Innovation and digitalization are strongly at stake in logistics and transport. The partners shall give very special attention to the interchange of good practices in terms of traffic management, smart cities/smart ports. The PAS will especially bring support to HAROPA in its approach of the industrial ecology. The CLES approach carried out in Strasbourg is so far one of the most successfully-completed in France.


Finally, the PAS and HAROPA wish to communicate with one voice in Europe and abroad in order to have the strategic rank of France in port economy (both sea and river) heard and known.

This cooperation will be mainly expressed by the organization of common business events and thematic workshops in France and abroad.

A key role in the port field

The agreement gives shape to the common will of both partners to build innovative and pertinent solutions contributing to the development of new trades and services strengthening the attractiveness of the port sites of the PAS and HAROPA.


HAROPA is the leading French port system with 92.6 million tonnes of sea traffic and 20.9 million tonnes of river trade handled in 2017.

HAROPA stands in the main European transport network (core network) and the projects supported by HAROPA were granted more than € 100 million subsidies by Europe in 2015 in order to increase its sea and overland accessibility.

“Together, we have the ambition to play a major part within the trans-European transport network by working on the development of the hinterlands, digitisation or even visibility. With this partnership we are building a bridge between the Seine corridor and the Rhine valley » Hervé Martel underlined as Vice-president of HAROPA & Executive Director of HAROPA – Port of Le Havre. “Always looking for innovative solutions to give momentum to the sector of sea and river transport, the partnership with the Port Authority of Strasbourg will allow for connecting two port systems at the leading edge of innovation, whether it is as regards port governance, environmental policy or even logistics” Antoine Berbain, Deputy Executive Director for HAROPA EIG said.


The Port Authority of Strasbourg is a major business stakeholder at the service of the development and influence of the Upper Rhine area: 2nd French largest inland port, # 1 logistics platform and the largest rail freight station in the Greater-East. Inland ports and more especially the PAS are today considered as essential links in all the logistics chain with the need to reconcile added value with environmental requirements.

“The Port Authority of Strasbourg carries on its initiatives in favour of tomorrow’s mobility. Together with HAROPA, our efforts will focus on the challenges to take up in order to connect the waterways: the development of a new rail service, of sustainable and virtuous logistics chains, the use of digital innovations to optimise the flows” Jean-Louis Jérôme, Executive Director of the Port Authority of Strasbourg, explained.

With more than 20 million tonnes carried by waterway in 2016, HAROPA - Ports of Paris is today the leading river port in France and the second largest in Europe. It is an essential equipment for the logistics operation of the Paris area (’Ile-de-France’). Made up of 6 multimodal platforms and 60 urban ports, it makes it possible to manage 13 % of the regional supply by waterway.